Financial difficulties can be extremely worrying as a student. They may affect your ability to focus on your studies and continue your time at the university or college of your choice. In order to prevent financial difficulties from overwhelming you halfway into your studies, here are some of the steps that you can take toward dealing with and overcoming them in the 2021 academic year.
Look Into Hardship Funds
However, most universities and colleges have financial advisors and finance departments that can help you organize your finances and give you a variety of options that can help you stay at the university regardless of your financial situation. For instance, many universities offer students facing financial difficulties a hardship fund. This fund can help to keep you going when you are far into your overdraft and will allow you to keep your finances afloat for longer. To get this fund, you should schedule an appointment with the finance team at your university as soon as possible. If you predict that you will find yourself in financial difficulty before you go to university or college, you may be able to apply for certain grants before you even leave home.
Get a Part-Time Job
If you need some extra cash to help you pay your bills and fund your nights out, you should consider applying for part-time jobs in your area. As you progress through your studies, it is unlikely that you will have more than a few contact hours per week, especially if your course is currently focused on your dissertation or independent study. This gives you plenty of time between your lectures and seminars to head to a part-time job, where you can earn the money that you need to support yourself. SavetheStudent has collated some of the best part-time jobs that students can find at the start of the new term. However, you should make sure that this job does not distract you from your studies and that you still have enough time to complete all of your assignments. Some courses may even recommend that you avoid taking on a part-time job, where possible.
Apply for Grants
You might be able to apply for grants, even if you are halfway through your studies. Grants are given by the university itself and give extra funding to people who meet certain criteria. These criteria could be anything, from coming from a low-income background, having a parent who works in a certain field, being a mature student, or taking a certain course, such as healthcare or teaching.
Speak to Your Landlord
One of the main issues when you run out of money as a student is being able to afford your rent, especially if you are staying in private accommodation. While it may be easy to contact your university’s accommodation provider about any late payments, and these usually come out of your student loan directly, it can be harder to speak to your landlord about any problems you are having in getting the money you need together. However, in most cases, student landlords will be lenient or will allow you to pay your rent when you receive your next loan installment. This is not always the case, though. So, before you speak to your landlord, you should plan exactly what you are going to say and make sure that you know your rights while renting out their property.
Short Term Loans
If you are struggling with financial difficulties as a student, you might consider taking out a short-term loan. This is a possibility as long as you have some sort of income (e.g. from a part time job) but this should be a last resort and you would need to be confident you can and will meet all of the loan repayments, as failure to repay a loan can lead to further financial difficulties. If you do decide to go down this route, it may be a good idea to use an FCA regulated loan broker to try and get the best APR available to you and your personal financial circumstances.
Cut Your Costs
As a student, although it is unlikely that you will be making a large income, you will not have as many fixed costs as other people living independently. For instance, you will be splitting your bills between multiple people and will usually not have a vehicle to run. So, once you have paid your rent and your student loan, the majority of your costs may be spent on fun and luxuries. It can be difficult to manage your money in the first years of being a student, especially if you have never had to do so before. So, you should find ways to better manage your money and cut your unnecessary expenditure. For instance, you should cook at home more often, attend free events or societies, and consider walking or taking the transport put on by your university rather than public transport or taxis. If you are struggling to cut down on your costs, you should consider downloading a finance tracking app that will allow you to see and manage what you are spending at all times.
Many students deal with money problems before they leave university or college, especially if your student loan covers less than you imagined. You may encounter these issues even if you previously believe that you were financially savvy. However, these issues do not mean that you will have to return back to your hometown and abandon your degree. Although being in financial difficulty can be stressful for students, it is not usually the end of the world, and there are plenty of steps that you can take to get you back on your feet and which can ensure that you stay financially afloat enough to pour most of your energy into your studies and achieve academic success, and with that success carve a great career for yourself.